When Transnet Repairs, Maintenance and Emergency undertook to upgrade the infrastructure within the Mossel Bay Port area, they immediately turned to Sika to supply the specialised products needed for this challenging project.

Fortunately Sika has an extensive range of products renowned for their quick drying and strengthening properties, which were perfect for the varied and demanding requirements of the location. The proximity to the sea meant not only that the buildings and roads were being repaired under constant attack from the elements, but some were actually situated within the tidal zone, limiting working times to six hour shifts. With such extreme exposure to weather and tides, and the limited curing times available, the choice of Sika products was critical to the success of this venture.

A wide range of Sika high performance products were used successfully for many different applications, but the Sika systems that attracted the most accolades were those used to repair the dry dock. The concrete cradle that carries the boats and ships into the water had become corroded and required strengthening and smoothing, but was fifty percent below water level at high tide. According to Errol Baartman of Transnet R & E (Repairs, Maintenance and Emergency), the products used in the tidal areas not only had to dry within a short period of time, but also be rugged enough to withstand vigorous wave action within six hours, when the tide came in. Sika products were able to meet all of these specifications with ease.

Sika’s Colma Cleaner, a general cleaning system, was first used on the concrete beams in the dry dock to remove algae in preparation for repairing with Sikagrout-212, an Expansive Cementitious Grout used for concrete repairs and under base plate support. It was applied in this instance in combination with Sika-2, an Extra Quick Setting Waterproofing Admixture intended for sealing severe water infiltrations in concrete, rock and masonry. Sika-2 was used here not only for its waterproofing capabilities, but also to accelerate the setting time of Sikagrout-212 so that it would be dry before the next high tide. This highly successful combination saw the initial set being reached within forty-five minutes.

Another Sika grouting product, a High Strength Fluid Epoxy Resin Grout named Sikadur-42 ZA helped to prevent water getting through to the nuts and bolts that held the timber shuttering together during concrete repairs.  This product can also be used for the structural grouting of machine and column base plates, bearing plates, crane rails and anchor bolts subjected to dynamic loading. Sikadur-31 CF Normal, a Thixotropic Epoxy Resin Adhesive for thin film concrete repairs, bolt anchoring and crack and surface sealing, was used on the rails in the Dry Dock as a bedding mortar and corrosion protective system, as well as for filling voids and sealing joints, Together these Sika products provided a comprehensive sealing, strengthening and smoothing system for repairs to the dry dock.

This project, which ran from January 2008 - November 2008, saw Sika products applied to a 500 square metre area that will experience not only continual tidal and wave action, but also constant wear and tear from traffic. When Transnet, the company behind all South Africa's national transport businesses, chose to use Sika products for this difficult and demanding upgrade, it confirmed the company’s excellent reputation for troubleshooting in the construction industry.